Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Pulp Fiction

For those of you who mind, the following contains a major spoiler for this week's DC Universe: Zero primer by Grant Morrison and Geoff Johns.

With that out of the way:
"Without Barry Allen, we'd still be reading comic books about cowboys," Geoff Johns, co-writer of the new Flash comics, told the Daily News.
Well, yes. And crooks and detectives and spies, and romance and adventure, and spacemen and pirates and monsters. That stifled sound you just heard was the spontaneous self-combustion of Warren Ellis.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Selector

New comics recommendation for April 30, 2008:

(Click on image for more information.)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

First Contact

The first quarter of my DC Comics review marathon is now online: Last week, I dutifully ploughed through Brad Meltzer's Justice League of America, exposed myself to my first ever Shazam comic, was surprised by Matt Wagner's Batman: The Mad Monk, had a look at why The Brave and the Bold sales are in a free-fall and read the beginning of Countdown.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Selector

New comics recommendation for April 23, 2008:

(Click on image for more information.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

20 Labours of a Comic-Book Columnist

So I went and bought me a few DC Comics superhero comic books.

Since I've been writing the "DC Comics Month-to-Month Sales" column, you see, the question how familiar I am with the various DC books has occasionally come up. The short answer being, I don't usually read a lot of them. There's just not much that interests me, in terms of characters. I tend to pick up whatever Grant Morrison, Alan Moore or Frank Miller happen to be doing there, and some of what Kurt Busiek, Greg Rucka, Warren Ellis and a few others happen to be doing. As far as the DC Universe is concerned, though, I'm not particularly well-versed. I know the broad strokes, of course. But I've never bothered with Crisis on Infinite Earths, for instance, and I've yet to read a Wonder Woman comic, or a Justice Society comic, or a Legion of Super-Heroes comic. You get the idea.

Now, for various reasons, I don't think that poses much of a problem as far as commenting on the books' sales is concerned. Chiefly, I'd argue that the bulk of what retailers and their audience react to in a given comic can be gleaned from the advertising copy released in the Previews catalogue every month and from subsequent reviews. Or look at it this way: You don't have to drive a Porsche to analyze that company's performance - being up to date on the perceived qualities of the cars and the industry in general is sufficient.

Nevertheless, I thought it was time for a little experiment. Given that DC's comic-book sales have been in a bit of a decline in the last couple of years, I was curious whether the public perception of the publisher's output, as shaped by the publisher itself and by online reactions, was an accurate reflection of the content of their books. Which, of course, is a copious way of saying that, in the next few weeks, I'm going to read and review at least 20 DC Comics superhero comic books over at Supercritical. Here's the rub: They're all comics I wouldn't normally touch with a ten-foot barge-pole, so part of the fun for me has been to see how I like them. The first four are review copies I received from DC back in 2006, the others I bought myself. The first one went up yesterday, and the rest are going to follow daily, Monday to Friday.

So, you know, feel free to go over there and have a look.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Karl Kaufmann, the Ultimate Spider-Kraut

Wow, if this first-look preview at Comics Continuum is any indication, it seems Brian Michael Bendis and Stuart Immonen really got something cooking on Ultimate Spider-Man:

That's what I get for not paying attention to the Ultimate books.

Selector

New comics recommendation for April 16, 2008:

(Click on image for more information.)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Selector

New comics recommendation for April 9, 2008:

(Click on image for more information.)

Monday, April 7, 2008

On the Radio

A couple of weeks ago, I had a fun chat on comic-book sales, the North American comics market and comics translations with Lamond and Hobie of Checklist Comicast. Fiends that they are, they recorded it and put it on the internet. The conversation was held in German, but with a little luck, the Brian Wood jokes will transcend the language barrier.

But seriously: Thanks to Lamond and Hobie for having me. (And only nice things were said about Brian Wood, of course.)

Circumstantial Evidence

Did you know that Ed Brubaker is working on a new book?

No? Well, I don't, either, but it certainly seems that way. Over last two months, he got a temporary co-writer on Daredevil and a permanent co-writer on Uncanny X-Men, and now it's been announced that Brubaker's final issue of The Immortal Iron Fist will be #16.

So, what is he doing with all his new spare time? Well, both Thunderbolts and Wolverine are up for grabs later this year, a Brubaker-written Iron Man would be a nice companion to Matt Fraction's Invincible Iron Man, and Brian Michael Bendis has been on Ultimate Spider-Man for quite some time now.

Unfortunately, Newsarama's Steve Ekstrom doesn't ask why Brubaker and Fraction leave Iron Fist, so your guess is as good as mine.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The Icky & Fratty Show

Disclaimer: I don't know Brian Michael Bendis personally, so for all I know, he may be a perfectly agreeable and well-adjusted individual with mature, sensible, contemporary views and attitudes.

But then stuff like this, compounded by stuff like this or this (scroll down to "Brian Bendis - Rumour Monger"), makes me wonder, and makes me feel a little bit embarrassed to be reading this man's work.

Surely, that's not the kind of effect Bendis is looking for with his comics and his online presence, or is it?

Selector

New comics recommendation for April 2, 2008:

(Click on image for more information.)